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Pandemic research center opening in Rotterdam

Erasmus MC and the municipality of Rotterdam with the partners TU Delft and NCOH are together opening the Pandemic Disaster Preparedness Center, a research center aimed at making sure the Netherlands is better prepared for future disasters. Ernst Kuipers of the national acute care network LNAZ and Rotterdam mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb revealed plans for the center on talk show Jinek on Thursday.

The coronavirus pandemic showed how unprepared the Netherlands, and the world, was to deal with such a crisis. The Netherlands ended up dependent on other countries for supplies like personal protective equipment, Aboutaleb said.

“In the future we must try to be as independent as possible. My wish is to set up this plan within three years. Not only nationally, but perhaps also internationally,” the Rotterdam mayor said.

The research center was the idea of virology professor Marion Koopmans, who is currently in Wuhan to research the origin of the coronavirus with the World Health Organization. “I’m trying to find out what happened at the start of the pandemic. How did that go? That knowledge is especially important for the future,” Koopmans said.

Click here to read the news article at the TU Delft website.

Click here to watch Marion Koopmans, Ernst Kuipers and Ahmed Aboutaleb in the talk show of Eva Jinek.